On Shabbat, may I go to a public lecture and look at the screen? Slides from a computer are projected onto a projection screen. The lecturer may be using a microphone. The lecture will take place whether or not you attend.

  • you have a few different questions here (is learning non-jewish material inherently not part of Sabbath observance, can one capitalize of a non-Jew's use of forbidden technology on the Sabbath, is one misleading others into mistake if he attends such a lecture though he is visibly Jewish, will this lead to other violations...among others). Could it be focused or split up? – rosends May 7 '13 at 17:34
  • I think this is a good question if the last part, about non-Jewish topics, is spun off into its own question. (After all, that question is interesting regardless of the technologies that are or aren't in use.) – Monica Cellio May 7 '13 at 17:43
  • It could also be more generalized to include any number of scenarios in which one is part of a group for whom someone is doing Melachah. – Seth J May 7 '13 at 17:50
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    @Dan, I think that the question is sound. The scenario is a very common one (happens all the time in colleges everywhere) and the question asks, essentially, whether anything is wrong with attending a college class or convention lecture or the like on the sabbath. – msh210 May 7 '13 at 18:21

See Rabbi Torczyner's lecture on attending conferences.

If I understood and recall his lecture correctly: Generally speaking, where necessary it would be permissible — assuming that the speaker would be using the same electronic devices regardless of your presence.

(Rabbi Torczyner always starts with "ask your local synagogue rabbi for actual psak", of course.)

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